In this blog we are going to be offering advice on how to help your child deal with exam stress by avoiding triggering questions, and by offering solutions, so that you can support your child through their GCSE Exams.

We all know that after a child has sat an exam, we all want to ask them:

  • How did it go?
  • What came up?
  • How did your friends find it?
  • Did you answer all the questions?
  • How well do you think you have done?

While all of these questions seem harmless, they are harmful.

This is because they force your child to evaluate their performance based on their feelings. We all know that sometimes our feelings do not marry up with reality and so it could cause your child to feel unnecessary distress.

Furthermore, the questions could also encourage your child to compare themselves to their peers, which is unhealthy, as it can lead to:

  • Jealousy
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Lack of confidence

And, worst of all, a sense of hopelessness.

This is because they are thinking about what they could have, should have done, which is fruitless. 

They cannot change what they have done.

So, what is healthier and helpful is is you ask your child this one simple question:

How do you feel about your exam?

By doing this, it allows your child to freely express themselves without any judgement.

If your child does not offer any suggestions, be sure to encourage by:

  • Telling them you are proud of their efforts;
  • Encouraging them to do something to relax and unwind. They might have another exam to prepare for the next day, but it is vital that they revise and study with a clear mind and so taking 15 mins’ to an hour to decompress is essential;
  • Ask them what they need for their upcoming exams. This helps your child to focus on something that they have control over and can take actions to achieve the results they desire.

And, I know that GCSE Exams can be stressful for parents too, so do make sure that you take time for self-care.

Remember, all you can do is encourage and support your child.

No matter the outcome of your child’s GCSEs, remember a grade does not determine your child’s worth, and know that their are always other ways in which your child can continue their studies and go on to their desired career, even if they do not obtain the grades they need/want.